The other day, a Health expert on NDTV’s Fit Rahe India, was suggesting this to alcoholics : If you drink a peg of alcohol, make sure to immediately dilute it with a glass of plain water.
The only question one must ask to the Expert is : Why will an alcoholic do that?
If an alcoholic is that concerned about alcohol’s bad effects on liver, then he wouldn’t drink alcohol.
Speaking of such illogical advice thrown at addicts, our PM is not too far.
In his Mann Ki Baat some months ago, the PM tried to reform substance addicts by informing them that the money they use to buy drugs is used to fund terrorist activities against the Nation.
The only question is: Do these addicts have the mind frame or freedom to contemplate on such an advice?
The PM wanted to somehow link addiction to patriotism and terrorism; and he did so, without bothering about its effect on the addicts.
The above two instances tell our mindset towards addiction, addicts and de-addiction (in Hindi Nasha Mukti).
We have assumed that the only obstacle to de-addiction is the addict’s adamancy (in Hindi Zidd) to change.
Which is far from truth.
It’s not easy to get rid of addiction. And instead of seeing addicts as adamant beings, we must see them as people trapped in a difficult situation. A situation where they do feel withdrawal symptoms when their bodies crave for the substance. This usually happens a couple of times a day. If an addict is administered substance at that time, then he/she can lead a normal life.
One good way tackling addiction is to open Centres where these addicts can take substance under a Doctor’s supervision. Actually countries such as Sweden and Germany are running such Centres for decades now. The concept behind these centres is to help addicts lead a normal productive life, by protecting them from drug syndicates, and go ahead with de-addiction, if the person wants to be clean (by lowering drug intake over the months under doctor’s supervision).
Another benefit of such centres is hygiene and protection from infections which spread through infected needles.
Drug addiction is a real problem in some states in India. It will not be possible to curb drug menace by treating drug addicts as outcasts. Instead the Governments should focus on ways by which an addict can lead a useful, productive and normal life. It must be understood that drugs ruin families mainly because the money required to fuel the habit often becomes too high (We must understand that any addictive substance is expensive only because it’s illegal. If a Government decides to use it for legal purposes, then it becomes dirt cheap). Another reason why substance addiction ruins families, is that the addict finds no one to bail him out of the situation. A Government can take care of such disabilities.